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Mercedes-AMG GT (2014-present): Review, Problems, Specs

Contrary to popular belief, Mercedes-AMG's second standalone model, the GT, is not a successor to the SLS AMG. It's smaller in size, considerably more affordable and delivers similar levels of performance with the added benefit of handling more predictably on the limit. On paper, it sounds like Mercedes-AMG has found the winning formula, with most reviews placing it as a competent rival for the Porsche 911 Turbo. However, it's significantly more expensive, so choosing it over the Porsche is not the most logical thing to do.


Pros & Cons
Strong Points

Pros


Strong Points
  • Spectacular design
  • Superb chassis
  • Excellent performance
  • All-round usability
  • Suitable as an everyday car

Recommended Versions
Strong Points

Cons


Weak Points
  • Expensive to buy and run
  • Poor visibility
  • Less practical than some rivals

Stay Away From
  • Mercedes-AMG GT (base model)
Strong Points

Attention


Known Problems & Recalls
  • There have been no recalls issued for the Mercedes-AMG GT
Car Details
Powertrain

The GT is offered exclusively with V8 power. The handcrafted twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine developed by Mercedes-AMG has two states of tune: 456 hp in the GT base model and 503 hp in the range-topping GT S version. In the United States, Mercedes-Benz only sells the top version (for now). In both cases, the engine is mated to a seven-speed AMG Speedshift DCT automated manual transmission. Performance is spectacular: the GT S goes from 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and reaches a top speed of 193 mph (electronically limited). The engine has sharp throttle response in higher gears.


Handling

Unsurprisingly, Mercedes-AMG's flagship car is also its best handling model. However, compared to the wild SLS AMG it is tamer as well as more predictable on the limit. Thanks to this it's better all round, but the GT lacks the drama of the naturally-aspirated SLS – the force-fed engine doesn't sound as exciting either. The balanced, accessible handling makes the GT both a competent grand tourer for long distance travel and a thoroughbred sports car on the racetrack. The steering is too light at low speeds but becomes more accurate as you go faster.


Safety

As it usually happens with low-volume sports cars, the Mercedes-AMG GT hasn't been crash-tested by the NHTSA, IIHS or Euro NCAP. In the absence of data about how the GT performs in various crash scenarios, we have to take the manufacturer's word as to the model's safety. Standard features include ABS, stability and traction control, as well as eight airbags including side airbags, head-protecting side curtain airbags, and knee airbags. Mercedes-Benz also equips the AMG GT with Attention Assist, Collision Prevention Assist Plus, a rearview camera and front and rear parking sensors. The list of optional safety features is even bigger.

Comfort

The Mercedes-AMG GT rides very comfortably on most roads, although the ride is on the firm side on rough surfaces. Still, it's a reasonable compromise for a supercar. Engine noise is not very present inside, which some may view as a good thing but most buyers will not appreciate – after all, this is a supercar. The low-set driving position is good, but taller drivers might not be able to slide or recline the seat back far enough to feel comfortable. On top of that, the seats' thin padding affects comfort on long trips.


Quality

The GT has a beautifully crafted cockpit that combines top-notch materials with an attractive, sporty design. Customers can choose between different upholstery materials, contrasting stitching and trim choices, including matte or glossy carbon fiber and aluminum. The steering wheel and headliner wrapped in Alcantara are nice touches as well. The Mercedes-AMG GT features bespoke buttons and switches, adding to its exclusivity. There's little to complain when it comes to quality, and that's hardly surprising on a $129,900 car.


Practicality

No one expects the Mercedes-AMG GT to be a practical car, given the rarefied segment it competes in. The supercar only has 12.4 cu-ft of trunk volume, which is slightly less than a Porsche 911's boot capacity. Furthermore, the trunk's unusual shape means finding bags that fit in is a challenge. It's good to know that the GT can carry two golf bags, though. The GT's curvy shape means visibility is not great either while the massive center tunnel and the gear selector placed too far back aren't very ergonomic.


Infotainment

The GT features Mercedes' latest and most advanced COMAND infotainment system, which consists of a high-resolution 8-inch screen, a smaller display between the round dials, a rotary controller, and a touchpad. The system is rather intuitive and easy to use, with drivers also having dedicated buttons for the car's basic functions at their disposal. The way designers integrated the main display into the dashboard is not that elegant, looking rather like a tablet mounted atop the central air vents.

Efficiency

For obvious reasons, this is not a car for eco-conscious customers. Still, the 2016 Mercedes-AMG GT S was officially rated by the EPA at 18 mpg combined, which is a decent rating for a supercar powered by a 503 hp twin-turbo V8. According to the NEDC rating, the base GT averages 9.3 l/100 km, with corresponding CO2 emissions of 216 g/km. Good luck achieving that, as most reviewers have been shocked to see how quickly the GT empties its fuel tank.


Equipment

The list of standard features of the 2016 Mercedes-AMG GT S is extensive and includes 19-inch front and 20-inch rear alloy wheels, an electronically controlled rear differential, an adaptive suspension, a dynamic exhaust system with driver-selectable settings, LED headlights, a pop-up rear spoiler, and parking sensors, among other things. Inside, the GT packs a dual-zone climate control system, leather upholstery, heated front seats with memory settings for the driver, adaptive cruise control, a navigation system, a 10-speaker Burmester audio system and the Mercedes COMAND infotainment system. For hardcore users, the optional AMG Dynamic Plus package turns the GT into an even sharper machine.


Acquisition

The 2016 Mercedes-AMG GT S' $129,900 starting price makes it significantly more expensive than the Porsche 911 Turbo, which is available from $151,100 in the United States. The price gap is even larger in Germany, where the GT S is priced at €134,351 while the 911 Turbo starts from €174,669. The real question here is whether the 911 Turbo's extra 33 hp, quicker acceleration and legendary reputation are worth the price premium. Well, the fact that the Mercedes-AMG GT manages to make people ask this question is a big achievement.

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Dan Mihalascu
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